Practice dress: fittings and alterations

the fitting was not perfect. But showed a lot. (aww, it wasn’t that horrible! Still much better than the fitting of original pattern)

  • The extra length in the bodice was uneccessary, it made the waist line sag.
  • there’s not enough curve hugging around, it still looks like a sack. Need wider darts in the skirt, less ease at the waist.
  • the back is wayyyy to big. Size 16 (EU44) is a mockery, my back needs a 12 (EU38).
  • back and front are too low. It’s not that I’m modest, it’s just that I like to move without assets falling out or my adrenals catching a cold
  • the flare is still too much. Have to take more out where the side panels meet the center back and front of the skirt
  • the shoulders are too high

I slept on it. Looked again. Took the bodice apart and altered it. Made notes on the muslin. Put the bodice together again. I now use the practice dress as an exercise tool and the muslin as a notebook.

the second (or third) fitting looks promising:


getting there, getting there.

The bodice fits much better now, the waist line lies horizontal again. The funny thing is I do need to follow the pattern lines size 16 describes for the waist, just below the bust.
It needs a whole lot of more darts and all the other lines need reducing (front top, shoulders and side seams) but the line under the breasts is a good one.

more decreasing in the skirt is needed. I will do this in the darts since they can be adjusted. The seams are pretty much stable at this point. But on the muslin I’ll make notes and adjust the pieces.

I need more following of the curve of my back. Being blessed with a tummy I don’t care for much darts in the front. But my back has this caving which I quite like. Over here we call it “the little hole in the small of your back” = “het holletje van je rug”. “Holletje” is the burrow of a rabbit or small critter. It is also the cup you can make with your hand.

it’s a good thing.

My “holletje” needs more darts to emphasize it. And less flare on the buttocks. Because I don’t have much in that department but I do have slender legs and a flaring skirt obscures that fact.

a quick look at the notes I made on the bodice muslin after two fittings:


I have taken apart the bodice, once more. Drawing on it with pencil to mark what I’ve done and what I want different.

I have loosened the darts in the skirt. I will sew them a bit wider and will adjust for that difference in circumference in the sideseams of the bodice. I already took them a bit in, then straightened them (I don’t need much room at the underarm) and will skew them now because I need less circumference at the bottom but have reached the limit at the underarms.
Basically I am drafting a size 12 with a FBA (Full Bust Adjustment)

there I go, getting ticked off at Butterick sizing again. No no no, better run to the sewing machine and put this thing together. I hope the next fitting will give me acceptable pattern pieces and then I can cut and sew from the real fabric.

I only have this sewing machine today and tomorrow and I would love to leave here with a dress. Where I’m going there is another sewing machine, not as good as this one. But there’s also a garden and a weaving loom and sheep with fleeces to be processed…



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